SISTER STUDY RESEARCH
Blood cell composition and hypertension
Hypertension is an important public health issue because it is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and affects most people over the age of 60. Characteristics of a person's immune system may be associated with their risk of developing hypertension. Using data from the Sister Study, we estimated the proportion of each type of white blood cell each participant had circulating in her body, finding that minor differences in those proportions were associated with later development of hypertension. Additionally, we found that having a history of hypertension was associated with a larger proportion of neutrophils, which are a type of white blood cells that cause inflammation. This study helps to clarify the immunological changes associated with hypertension and may be useful in the future for helping preventing the condition.